Natural food supplements include a wide variety of products. Almost all health food stores carry them, and a number of drugstores and supermarkets stock them on their shelves as well. In general, natural food supplements are composed of, derived from, or by-products of foods that provide health benefits. In some cases, health benefit claims made by manufacturers are based upon a supplement’s use in traditional healing; in other cases, they are based on modern scientific research.
Food supplements can be high in certain nutrients, contain active ingredients that aid digestive or metabolic processes, or provide a combination of nutrients and active ingredients. It is important to point out that some unscrupulous manufacturers make false promises. It is there-fore vital to be an informed consumer. It is also necessary to be aware that many conservative “watchdog” organizations point to these few unsubstantiated products and label the whole industry as unreliable. This occurs in spite of the fact that many natural food supplements have been known to work for years; these products are medically endorsed only when they are “discovered” by researchers deemed acceptable by these groups. Such recent discoveries include garlic, aloe vera, fiber, and fish oils substances that have been used for centuries in many parts of the world.
Food supplements come in many shapes and forms tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, jellies, creams, biscuits, wafers, granules, and more. Product packaging depends entirely on the nature of the food supplement’s composition.
The potency of these products varies. Because they are made up of perishable foods, food derivatives, or food byproducts, their potency may be affected by the length of time they sit on a shelf or by the temperature at which they are kept. If you don’t understand how a product is to be used, ask questions or read the available literature on the particular supplement.
If you have never used a natural food supplement, you may be uncomfortable about buying and using one for the first time. This is normal. Keep in mind that once you become familiar with its use and benefits, you won’t give the idea of using it a second thought.
Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a compound that serves as the immediate source of energy for the body’s cells, notably muscle cells. It increases energy and stamina, builds muscular density, increases muscular strength, buffers lactic-acid buildup (the reason for sore, achy muscles after physical activity), delays fatigue, and preserves muscle fibers. ATP is produced naturally in the body from adenine, a nitrogen containing compound; ribose, a type of sugar; and phosphate units, each containing one phosphorus atom and four oxygen atoms. ATP from Integrated Health is a good source of supplemental ATP.
One of the most mineral-rich foods known, alfalfa has roots that grow as much as 130 feet into the earth. Alfalfa is available in liquid extract form and is good to use while fasting because of its chlorophyll and nutrient content. It contains digestive-aiding enzymes, amino acids, and carbohydrates. It also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, plus virtually all known vitamins. The minerals are in a balanced form, which promotes absorption. These minerals are alkaline, but have a neutralizing effect on the intestinal tract.
If you need a mineral supplement, alfalfa is a good choice. It has helped many arthritis sufferers. Alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley, and spirulina, all of which contain chlorophyll, have been found to aid in the healing of intestinal ulcers, gastritis, liver disorders, eczema, hemorrhoids, asthma, high blood pressure, anemia, constipation, body and breath odor, bleeding gums, infections, burns, athlete’s foot, and cancer.
Alfalfa is widely used in the treatment of gout, with much success. A flare-up of gout due to use of alfalfa is most likely caused by an allergic reaction in the individual, as many people are allergic to alfalfa. Symptoms of an allergic type reaction can include dermatitis (skin rash), shortness of breath, diarrhea, gas, muscle pain, fatigue, kidney problems, and others. Also, alfalfa extracts, which contain large amounts of alcohol, are not beneficial to gout sufferers.